Visitor Experience

By James G. Leventhal
Beastie Boy Adam "MCA" Yauch and The Venerable Palden Gyatso, Tibetan Freedom Concert, SF, CA 1996


So quotes my friend Jennifer Caleshu:
These times especially call for more than mere incrementalism. Let’s demand that our leaders get in over their heads, that they remain a little bit naive about what they’re getting into.
It's from WIRED.
And my friend Erin Potts wrote...
By: Dan Keeffe
It’s perhaps cliché that “you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression,” but that was our mantra last spring at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County as we went about planning for the opening of our new Dinosaur Hall in July 2011.  By Labor Day we had successfully navigated opening 14,000 square feet of new exhibition space and nearly doubling our attendance...
Building Arts Organizations That Build Audiences: A Wallace Foundation Conference

It's one thing to introduce new audience development practices, another to sustain what works. A just-published Wallace conference report suggests that ongoing learning and adaptation are crucial.
From sponsoring after-hour events for 20-somethings to finding “ambassadors” to ethnic communities, arts organizations...
By: Anne Rowe
When I began working at Sunnylands in fall 2009, my first task was to empty an amazing 17,000 square foot historic home to make way for a massive restoration.

Sunnylands is in Rancho Mirage, California, the winter retreat estate for Walter and Leonore Annenberg whose primary residence was in Pennsylvania.  Sunnylands is an A. Quincy Jones midcentury modern house which was built for...
By: Kate Williams
As I sit in my cozy Seattle apartment looking out over the fresh snowfall of the big winter storm they’ve been predicting for a week, my mind drifts back to . . . Hawaii. I was very fortunate to be chosen as one of the Wanda Chin Scholarship recipients in 2011. The award allowed me to attend the conference, something I definitely would not have been able to do on my own. I was...

Entry monument to the Pearl Harbor visitor center

For museums in the Pacific Rim, it’s often challenging to create programs and services that meet the needs of both locals and tourists. This engaging half-day workshop will give you a framework upon which to build vital programs that attract the local audience, while helping you streamline your visitor service offerings for the important tourist...
By Gypsy McFelter
I recently wrapped up the summer season working as a Visitor Use Assistant at one of the nation’s most popular landmarks – Yosemite National Park. And just like any major museum, zoo or aquarium, Yosemite has its most popular attractions, and its lesser-visited areas. But how do you attend to the needs of up to 4 million visitors per year, when your ‘museum’  is the size of...
by Stephanie Weaver
We were lucky to have Dr. Falk with us to kick off this year's conference in Portland, and also to be part of a visitor satisfaction panel the following day. If you haven't read his newest book, Identity and the Museum Visitor Experience, here are some highlights:
Dr. Falk's extensive research has found that people have a series of identities that we take on and off throughout...
By Celeste Dewald, Executive Director, California Association of MuseumsWhy do people visit museums? How do we create unforgettable moments?
A 2009 report released by the National Endowment for the Arts found that the number of American adults attending arts and cultural events has sunk to its lowest level since 1982. Understanding who visits museums and why is more important than ever for the...
Nice art, but where can I sit?
If your visitors often ask themselves this question - or if you, as a museum visitor, find yourself asking this question - then you belong at the WMA Annual Meeting session, "Increasing Visitorship by Making Visitors Comfortable," on Tuesday, October 19 at 11 AM.
You'll see and hear how four museums - the Museum of Photographic Arts, Oregon Museum of Science and...

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